Two decades after an Oregon woman received a life-saving liver transplant, she has learned she isn't the only one.
It's been 21 years since Beverly Mares was saved from a deadly cirrhosis diagnosis by that transplant. The donor was an 18-year-old woman killed in a car accident. Mares has kept in touch with her family over the years, visiting often and even celebrating holidays and life milestones together.
"I feel like a part of their family, and I think they feel like a part of ours," she says.
Just last month, Mares' donor family unexpectedly grew just a little bigger after meeting a woman at a church event - a donor recipient, just like her.
"[I asked,] 'Where was your donor from?' 'Oh, northern Wisconsin,'" Mares recalled the conversation. "I come to find out she has Missy's heart, and I have Missy's liver."